Diagnosing Psoriasis

Who can diagnose psoriasis?

Only a qualified healthcare professional can diagnose psoriasis. Usually, a GP will make the diagnosis, although referral to a dermatologist or healthcare professional specialising in skin, hair, and nails may be recommended for you.7

If you receive a diagnosis of psoriasis, it can be classified as ‘mild’, ‘moderate’, or ‘severe’ according to how intense it is or the extent of your symptoms and their impact on your quality of life e.g., it is affecting your daily activities like work, exercise, looking after your family.15 

When you visit your GP or dermatologist, they may use a scale to determine the impact of your psoriasis. These scales could be either the Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (PASI) Assessment; or the Dermatology Life Quality Index, sometimes referred to as the DLQI.

Do you need an urgent diagnosis?

If you have a skin rash with any of the following characteristics you should see your healthcare professional or go to your nearest hospital emergency department immediately: 

  • High temperature (fever)
  • Severe pain (e.g., joint pain, headache, general body pain)
  • Rapid spread
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Blistering, oozing or pus
  • Skin welling or peeling
  • Swollen tongue with difficulty breathing